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The best places to study near your Chicago university

Jun 3, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: College, Food

“Chicago SUCKS as far as studying places go,” wrote Francois B., a somewhat disgruntled Yelp reviewer. While that may be true for Francois (and Yelp reviews aren’t always the best barometer of worthwhile places to visit) there are actually quite a few coffee shops and cafés Chicago’s students can visit if they’re looking for a change in scenery, quality coffee or good food while they study. Here’s a list of places near some of Chicago’s popular universities that new students may want to check out.

Northwestern University- Evanston

While Northwestern has a lot to offer as far as libraries, student lounges and outdoor space for studying, NU students can be found enjoying cafés all over Evanston for their ample space, Internet access and good coffee. The Unicorn Cafe, just a five-minute walk from campus, is a favorite among Northwestern students, who can often be seen working on laptops or reading at the tables outside on a nice day. With a decent amount of space, free wifi and Metropolis coffee (a Chicago favorite), Unicorn Café is a good alternative to the Starbucks across the street. Be prepared to bring cash; it doesn’t take credit cards.

If you’re serious about your coffee and want a bit of latte art to go along with it, head to The Brothers K coffee shop on Main Street. It apparently boasts a great patio and friendly, personable baristas (which can be somewhat of a rarity in ‘hip’ coffee shops these days). Metropolis coffee and free wifi abound. A second outpost, The Other Brother Coffeehouse, is located on Sherman Avenue.

DePaul University- Lincoln Park

Just down the street from DePaul’s campus on N. Sheffield Avenue, Savor the Flavor has what many Chicago students would likely want from a café: lots of space with large tables, Metropolis coffee and free wifi. Many Yelp reviewers praise its food, especially the grilled cheese sandwich and ice cream, but some say it’s a little pricey.

Another Lincoln Park coffee spot known for its good food is The Bourgeois Pig located on Fullerton Avenue, also not far from DePaul’s campus. Its menu features numerous dessert and pastry options, as well as sandwiches and salads with cute names like ”The Hobbit”, “The Tale of Two Turkeys” and “Ham I Am”.

Walk into Noble Tree Coffee and Tea on North Clark Street on a typical day and you’ll find several students scattered throughout the café’s three floors, hunched over books and laptops. Noble Tree – which is much bigger than it looks from the outside – has the feel of a huge, cozy abandoned house, with charmingly mismatched furniture throughout. There’s so much space, it’s fairly easy to snag a table, but if you’re looking for a truly unique study experience, try and find the Pacman game-turned-table on the second floor and play a round or two for a study break.

Pacman table at Noble Tree

Loyola University, north campus- Rogers Park/Uptown/Edgewater

Students looking for ambiance, super-friendly baristas and lots of space to study should definitely stop by the one and only Metropolis Coffee Co. near Loyola’s northern campus. While many of the cafés on this list brew its beans, the actual Metropolis is a can’t-miss for most Loyola students, with many sandwiches and pastries to go along with its popular coffee. People are encouraged to come and stay a while, so you’ll never feel rushed.

Metropolis Coffee Co.

The Daily Cup, just a short walk from the Loyola Red L stop, serves fresh food and baked goods, gelato and delicious coffee, all at a reasonable price. Open until 10 p.m. on weekday evenings, the Daily Cup is a convenient study place for Loyola students eager to study in a coffee shop that’s not the Starbucks nearby.

University of Chicago- Hyde Park/University Village

Intelligentsia coffee, good food and beloved owner Belinda seem to be the main draw at Hyde Park’s Café 57, not far from the 59th Street, University of Chicago Metra station. Though Yelpers admit the space is small, they praise the atmosphere and employees. May be a good place to spend at least an hour or two studying, and the free wifi definitely helps.

Kick back with a gelato or a panini to go along with your coffee at Istria Café at the Hyde Park Art Center. The café takes cues from the Istrian peninsula, incorporating a mix of traditions from the Italian, Croatian and Slovenian area into its meticulous preparation of the Intelligentsia coffee it brews. Lots of comfy seats, free wifi and a cool, artsy vibe seem to satisfy Istria’s regulars.

Evanston

The Unicorn Café
1723 Sherman Ave. (between Church St. and Clark St.)
*free wifi
*Davis Purple line

The Brothers K Coffeehouse
500 Main St. (between Chicago Ave. and Hinman Ave.)
www.brotherskcoffee.com
*free wifi
*Main Purple line

The Other Brother Coffeehouse
1549 Sherman Ave. (between Grove St. and Orrington Ave.)
*Davis Purple line

Lincoln Park

Savor the Flavor
2545 N. Sheffield Ave. (between Altgeld St. and Lill Ave.)
*free wifi
*Fullerton Brown, Purple line
*grilled cheese!

Bourgeois Pig Café
738 W. Fullerton Ave. (between Burling St. and Children’s Place)
www.bpigcafe.com
*wifi with purchase

Noble Tree Coffee and Tea
2444 N. Clark St. (at Arlington Place)
www.nobletreecoffee.com
*free wifi

Rogers Park/Uptown/Edgewater

Metropolis Coffee Co.
1039 W. Granville Ave.
www.metropoliscoffee.com
*free wifi
*Granville Red line

The Daily Cup
1217 W. Devon Ave. (between Sheridan Road and Broadway)
www.dailycupinc.com
*free wifi
*Loyola Red line

Hyde Park/University Village

Istria Café
5030 S. Cornell Ave. (between 49th and East End Ave.)
www.istriacafe.com
*free wifi

Café 57
1220 E. 57th St
www.cafe57.biz
*free wifi

What’s a U-Pass? The freshman guide to the CTA

Jun 3, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: College, CTA, Transportation

Students, there’s really only one thing you need to know about public transportation, and it’s the U-Pass.  Treat it like your baby.  Don’t lose it.

U-Pass is a cooperative program between local colleges and universities and the CTA.  If you attend a participating school, the cost of your U-Pass is embedded in your tuition, but you’re saving a ton of money.

U-Pass basically gives you unlimited use of CTA rail and buses.  Unfortunately U-Pass is not accepted on Metra trains or Pace buses, but these routes are generally suburban.

A few things to be careful of: don’t share the card, don’t put it in the cash slot on buses, and don’t try to use it at the same station in succession.  The CTA is strict about U-Passes that need to be replaced if lost or stolen.  It’s a long process and it costs an extra $50.  For a full list of participating schools as well as the rules and conditions of the U-Pass program, visit the CTA website.

CTA train map

Detailed CTA fare information

Tips for college students living in Chicago

Jun 3, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: College, CTA, Entertainment, Food

Once you’ve made your college decision, the hard part is done.

But that doesn’t mean you can slack off.

You’re coming to the third-largest city in the country, a place where the people are loud but friendly, the food is plentiful but pricey and the weather is … well, we’ll get to that. Before you talk to your roommate and decide who’s bringing the TV and who’s bringing the microfridge (and definitely before you send your teary-eyed mother on her way), read this list to prepare for the adventure of your life.

This isn’t a test. It’s just planning to make the fun part even more fun.

Eat out once a week.

Chicago has this little thing called Grubhub.com, where you can order just about any food at just about any time of day for a reasonable fee. Check this out at 2 a.m. after a hard night of studying (or “studying”) and you’re bound to find hundreds of joints willing to deliver you a “hangover burrito” (this exists and is amazing) or the greasiest not-Chicago-style pizza (because sometimes you just want it like they make it at home). Furthermore, each campus in this city has its share of little coffee shops, brewpubs and sandwich makers where the in-the-know students hang out. You’ve got to eat, so why not eat well? That said, your meal plan is a much better deal (especially if it’s on Mom and Dad’s tab), and the Freshman 15 is not an urban myth, so make sure you do your splurging in moderation.

Dress for the weather.

Chicago has a unique style: Weather appropriate. The people who live here know how to let their winter-musts make the fashion statement for them. David Murphy, a graduate of Northwestern University who has since moved to the warmer climate of San Francisco, says it comes down to two words: “Thick coats.” Chicagoans learned this the hard way during a record-breaking blizzard in February. A zero-rated parka (check out these coats from L.L. Bean) might make you look like little Randy lumbering around in his snowsuit in “A Christmas Story,” but when you have a mile to walk between the dorm and class, you won’t be sorry.

Chicagoans will tell you that there are only two seasons here: winter and summer. That was true this year, but usually there is that period in March and April where the average high temperatures are in the 40s and 50s (and NOAA knows better than anyone). Spring here is rainy, and nowhere in the world will you see a better assortment of galoshes. Check out the selection of rain boots on Zappos.com for a style that suits you.

Then there’s the hot weather, a three-month anomaly that just this week led Chicago Police to shut down North Avenue Beach when four people suffered from heat exhaustion. That’s when it helps to get some sweat-wicking clothing (Moosejaw in Lincoln Park has a great selection) and constant hydration.

Learn the CTA.

This was our top tip from Chicagoans themselves. Annie Koval, who did her undergrad at the University of Illinois before moving to the big city to pursue her graduate studies at Northwestern, says it best: “Figure out the L, and figure it out fast.”

Many universities give students a U-Pass, which let’s you ride as much as you want. Your student fees pay for it, so use it. Within the city, a CTA bus or train can get you anywhere you need to go, and if you’re a future Wildcat headed to Northwestern’s Evanston campus, you can use the Pace bus, which directly connects to the CTA.

Remember the buddy system.

As soon as you told people you were moving to Chicago, you probably heard lots about being safe. In the end, your safety is largely a result of your common sense and intuition. According to the Chicago Police’s Personal Safety Tips Checklist, you should be alert and be prepared, carrying your money in places that aren’t easy for pick-pockets to get to and walking on well-lit streets. Women are always recommended to leave the clutch (which can just as easily become an un-clutch) at home and carry all that stuff in a sling bag or cross body purse.

Most importantly, travel in pairs or in groups at night and, if you must go out alone, tell a roommate or resident assistant where you’re going and when you should be back.

Leave campus whenever possible. (Be a tourist!)

This city has so much to offer, from parks to museums, theaters and clubs. If you stay in your dorm and never venture past the cafeteria or classroom, the world that is at your fingertips might as well be a world away. Instead, check out the list of events at Metromix and plan a hall night out on the town. Or choose one of the many plays or shows in Chicago – this summer, we have the Broadway touring casts of West Side Story and Beauty and the Beast. After a quick read of Chicago’s official tourism site, you will find something for everyone.

Buy a map. (But leave the car at home.)

The cost to park here is astronomical, and public transit is reliable and cheap. So catch a ride to Chicago with your parents (they’ll feel better if they see you settled into your new home anyway) and leave your car at home.

That doesn’t mean you won’t need a map, though. The last thing you want is to get turned around in a neighborhood you don’t know well and not know how to get back from whence you came. Yes, there’s an app for that, but what if you don’t have 3G/4G? What if you’ve dropped your phone? A good carry-around pocket-sized map is the Randy McNally Chicago Pop-up Map. Bonus: It has the Blues Brothers on the cover for maximum hipness.

As Christopher Rios, a student at Dominican University, explained on Ask Metafilter: “Learn the grid system of Chicago. You’ll never get lost if you know it.”

Become a fan (or at least give it the ol’ college try).

Chicago lives and dies by its teams, especially the Bears and the Blackhawks, which have a regional following and rabid fans who want to talk shop year-round. It helps that these teams are good – though not the best this season, sadly – so even if you aren’t a walking sports encyclopedia, you can check the headlines every now and again just to have the talking points. To get you started: Cutler’s knee. Canucks’ hair-pulling.

So buy a jersey (the Blackhawks official gear is here and the Bears is here) and be willing to be one of Da Super Fans.

Talk to strangers.

This isn’t advice you’re going to get from the grandparents, but if you want to know Chicago like Chicagoans do, you need to talk to Chicagoans. As we journalists like to say, go to the source. This city has all the charm the Midwest is known for, just in a larger package. As long as you’re not chasing the strangers into dark alleyways, striking up a friendly conversation with the person you’re skin-to-skin with on a packed train or sitting next to at the bar, it’s a great way to become acquainted with the city fast.

Which Chicago university is right for you?

Jun 3, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: College

School is almost out for the summer, which means one thing for high school juniors: college visits. Sifting through a huge college guide can be an intimidating task, so the Loopster is making it easy for those looking to further their educations in Chicago. See if you can match up your interests with a Chicago school known for that particular program, and you’ll be one step closer to planning your life for 2012 and beyond.

1. Northwestern University – Journalism, Economics, Engineering
Not to be biased, but Northwestern’s undergraduate journalism school ranks among the best in the U.S., and as a result, journalism is one of the school’s most popular majors. The department of economics is a close second, comprising one of the largest departments in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and offering a four-year BA/MA program and a heralded PhD program. Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering also boasts a strong curriculum that offers a balance between research and teaching.

2. DePaul University – Business/Undergraduate entrepreneur, Communications
DePaul’s College of Commerce offers an undergraduate business program that was ranked No. 3 in 2010 for being of good value among private universities, and the undergraduate entrepreneur program placed 10th in the Princeton Review’s 2010 rankings. DePaul’s communication students continue to rake in awards, including the 2010 Abraham & Borst Award for the nation’s best college radio station and third place in general excellence from the Illinois College Press Association for its student newspaper.

3. University of Illinois-Chicago – Entrepreneurship, Finance
The Princeton Review has named UIC’s entrepreneurship program the nation’s ninth best, and its finance program ranked 17th in the 2010 U.S. News & World Report. The entrepreneurship program combines management, marketing, accounting, finance and information and decision sciences aimed to offer its students a better understanding of entrepreneurship. In terms of finance, UIC offers Illinois residents a much cheaper alternative to DePaul.

4. Columbia College – Fiction writing, Theatre
Columbia offers one of the nation’s largest fiction writing programs, aimed to prepare its students for independent careers in literary and genre fiction, creative nonfiction, plays and more. It also specializes in preparing students to teach writing. Columbia’s theatre program strives to help its students develop an artistic voice through interdisciplinary and international performance styles, and it encourages students to think critically in order to learn to better express their ideas – a skill that can be applied in any vocation beyond graduation.

5. Roosevelt University – Real estate, Performing arts
Roosevelt’s Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate seeks to create career opportunities for its students through two degree programs: A master of business administration with a concentration in real estate and a master of science in real estate. Roosevelt’s College of the Performing Arts offers “gifted” students professional training at its Music Conservatory and Theatre Conservatory in Chicago.

6. Loyola University – Economics, Urban studies
Loyola offers two programs in economics: Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts. The programs aim to help students master the principles, theories and concepts of economics and business and help those hoping to pursue a master’s degree develop a solid foundation in business practices. The urban studies program capitalizes on the fact that Loyola’s campus is located in the heart of such a diverse city, encouraging students to develop a better understanding of urban life while formulating ways to improve the quality of life for urban residents and workers.

7. University of Chicago – Economics
The University of Chicago emphasizes the uniqueness of its department of economics: Instead of following a political or ideological formula, it instead focuses upon teaching the art of economics as a tool for understanding the ways in which society works. A vast number of economic theories have emanated from or been associated with U-Chicago in the last 40 years, including the economic theory of socialism, applied welfare economics, the economics of education and more. If you think you can add to an already scintillating list, this might be the school for you.

8. Northeastern Illinois University – Education
The College of Education at NIU boasts that its programs in School and Community Counseling are recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Colleges, which means they undergo a rigorous peer review process every seven years – so the program is continuously innovated and improved in order to provide its students with the best possible curriculum.

9. North Park University – Nursing
North Park’s School of Nursing offers a bachelor’s degree with a major in nursing and, later, a master’s with a major in nursing, both of which are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The school’s educational philosophy stresses beliefs about persons, health, environment and community that are based on the university’s urban, multicultural and Christian identity.

10. National Louis University – Education
National Louis understands the crucial role education will play in helping the U.S. evolve, and it dedicates itself to providing today’s students with the necessary credentials to make a difference in the future. Some specialties within the College of Education include early childhood leadership, autism research and the Center for Practitioner Research, which focuses on specific areas of research and advocacy in education.

Memorial Day Weekend: Fun for everyone

May 27, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: Beer, Entertainment, Fitness, Memorial Day, Music, Sports & Entertainment, Summer

What will you do with your three-day weekend?

Chicago has so many events, it may be hard to decide!

Friday, May 27

  • Prost! German Beers of Chicago
    • What? A trolley pub crawl hosted by the Chicago History Museum
    • When? May 27, 6 – 9 p.m.
    • Where? The tour will visit several of the best bierstubes in Chicago
    • Highlights include:
      • History lessons while drinking beer
      • Drink specials
    • More information: http://www.westmontbbq.com
  • Nerds at Heart’s Holidate
    • What? A singles bash
    • When? May 27, 7 p.m.
    • Where? Hidden Shamrock
    • Highlights include:
      • Board games and trivia
      • Ice cream tasting
      • Beach-reading giveaways
    • More information: http://www.yelp.com
  • Red, White & Bar-B-Q
    • What? A BBQ competition
    • When? May 27, 28 and 29
    • Where? Ty Warner Park in Westmont, Ill.
    • Highlights include:
      • Three days of free live music
      • Chili-tasting contest
      • Cooking demonstrations
    • More information: http://www.chicagohistory.org
  • Cubs games
    • What? A baseball game against the Pirates (May 27, 28, 29) or the Astros (May 30)
    • When? May 27, 28, 29 and 30
    • Where? Wrigley Field
    • Highlights include:
      • Free T-shirts for the first 10,000 fans on Memorial Day
    • More information: http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com

Saturday, May 28

  • Soldier Field 10 mile
    • What? A 10-mile race
    • When May 28, 7:30 a.m.
    • Soldier Field
    • Highlights include:
      • A race shirt and goody bag
      • Finish on the 50-yard line
      • The Hut-Hut Hike, a non-competitive walk
    • More information: http://www.soldierfield10.com
  • Yoga at the Lincoln Park Zoo
    • What? Outdoor yoga at the zoo
    • When? May 28, 9 – 10 a.m.
    • Where? Lincoln Park Zoo
    • Highlights include:
      • A view of the city skyline
      • An opportunity to learn the basics of yoga
      • Connection with nature
    • More information: http://www.lpzoo.org
  • Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival
    • What? A music festival with entertainment, arts, crafts and food
    • When? May 28 and 29
    • Where? N. Sheffield between Belmont and School
    • Highlights include:
      • Ten bands in two days
    • More information: http://www.chicagoevents.com
  • Memorial Day Parade
    • What? A parade to honor those serving and those who have served
    • When? May 28, noon
    • Where? State St. from Lake St. to Van Buren
    • Highlights include:
      • A free celebration
      • One of the largest Memorial Day parades in the nation
    • More information: http://www.cityofchicago.org
  • Green City Market
    • What? An outdoor food market
    • When? May 28
    • Where? Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive
    • Highlights include:
      • Products from local farmers
      • A cooking demonstration by Tim Cottini of Cafe Ba Ba Reeba
    • More information: http://www.greencitymarket.org
  • Navy Pier Fireworks
    • What? Fireworks fun
    • When? May 28, 10:15 p.m.
    • Where? Navy Pier
    • Highlights include:
      • Music by B96
      • Proximity to restaurants, shopping and Lake Michigan
    • More information: http://www.navypier.com

Sunday, May 29

  • Bike the Drive
    • What? A 30-mile bike ride
    • When? May 29, 5:30 – 9:30 a.m.
    • Where? Lake Shore Drive
    • Highlights include:
      • A car-free bike ride
      • A festival from 8 a.m. – noon
      • Fruit, water and snacks at rest stops
    • More information: http://www.bikethedrive.org
  • Boozehounds
    • What? A chance to enjoy a drink while your dog plays and enjoys treats
    • When? May 29, 1 – 4 p.m.
    • Where? Uptown Lounge
    • Highlights include:
      • Drink specials
      • Socializing with friends and pooches
    • More information: http://www.yelp.com

Monday, May 30

  • New Music Monday
    • What? A concert in the park
    • When? May 30
    • Where? Millennium Park
    • Highlights include:
      • Justin Townes Earle
      • Andre Williams and the Goldstars
      • A chance to discover new music
    • More information: http://explorechicago.org

 

Summer Movies 2011: More superheroes and sequels

May 27, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: Entertainment, Movies, Summer

It’s that time of year again. Provided Chicago finally decides to stay warm, there’s a good chance you’ll be seeking refuge from the summer heat at a local movie theater near you. Here’s a list of some of the films you can enjoy while you’re there, including a couple of the requisite comic book movies (X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern), a handful of sequels (Transformers 3, The Hangover 2) and some other movie about a wizard named Harry that you’ve probably never heard of.

Check out the timeline to find out when the movies you’re looking forward to are coming out, including movies playing outdoors as part of Chicago’s Movies in the Parks series.

The Potential Blockbusters

The Hangover 2

The Wolfpack’s back for another adventure, this time in Bangkok, Thailand. Ed Helms, Zach Galifanakis, Bradley Cooper and Community’s Ken Jeong return. May 27

X-Men: First Class

Meet archenemies Professor X and Magneto before they were enemies. Set in the early 60s, X-Men: First Class follows Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Micahel Fassbender, playing young Magneto) as they start a school for humans with special abilities. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, also starring Jennifer Lawrence. June 3

Super 8

Strange incidents and disappearances occur after a train crashes in a small Ohio town during the summer of 1979. Kyle Chandler plays a local Deputy trying to uncover the truth behind the unusual events. Directed by Star Trek and Lost’s J.J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg, Super 8’s likely a must see for sci-fi fans. June 10

Green Lantern

Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Jordan, a test pilot turned superhero. The film also stars Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard. June 17

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon

The Autobots and Decepticons face off again in a race to find a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the moon that could help both sides win their epic battle. Shia LaBeouf and Tyrese Gibson return, but fans may be sad to see Megan Fox replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Sam’s new love interest. Other new additions include Patrick Dempsey, Alan Tudyk, John Malkovich and Frances McDormand. July 1

Fun fact: Transformers 3 was filmed mostly in Chicago.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Harry, Ron and Hermione return to Hogwarts for the final battle against Lord Voldemort. July 15

Captain America: The First Avenger

Starring Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving and Tommy Lee Jones. July 22

Cowboys and Aliens

Pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Directed by Jon Favreau and starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde. July 29

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Scientist James Franco experiments on a chimp named Caesar while trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Human vs. ape war ensues. Also stars Andy Serkis and Slumdog Millionaire’s Freida Pinto. August 5

For the Kids

Kung Fu Panda 2

Po’s awesome new life as The Dragon Warrior is threatened by a villain hellbent on destroying kung fu. Starring Jack Black, Angelina Jolie and Jackie Chan. May 27

Cars 2

Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy return racecar Lightning McQueen and truck Mater as they race through Europe and Asia while competing in the World Grand Prix. Also stars Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer as British spies Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell. June 18

Winnie the Pooh

Join Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo, Eeyore and Christopher Robin for a bit of childhood nostalgia. Starring John Cleese, Craig Ferguson and Zooey Deschanel. July 15

The Smurfs

Smurfs take Manhattan after being booted out of their village by an evil wizard. Starring Hank Azaria, Katy Perry and Jonathan Winters. July 29

The Comedies

Mr. Popper’s Penquins

Jim Carrey stars as a businessman who’s life completely changes when he inherits six penguins. Also stars Carla Gugino and Angela Lansbury. June 17

Larry Crowne

Tom Hanks directs and stars as a middle-aged man who goes back to college after losing his job. Julie Roberts and Bryan Cranston also star.

Horrible Bosses

Jason Bateman, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Charlie Day and SNL’s Jason Sudeikis star as three friends who plan to murder their ‘horrible bosses’ to improve their lives. Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey star as the three bosses. July 8

Friends With Benefits

Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake star in a movie that seems suspiciously similar to the recent Natalie Portman/Ashton Kusher movie, No Strings Attached. July 22

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore. Gosling plays suave wingman to newly single Carell.

30 Minutes or Less

Starring Jesse Eisenberg as a delivery guy kidnapped and forced to help two criminals (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) rob a bank… with a bomb strapped to his chest. Also stars Parks and Recreation’s Aziz Ansari. August 12

Fright Night

Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin stars as a teen who suspects his neighbor (Colin Farrell) is a vampire in this remake of the 1985 original. Also stars Doctor Who’s David Tennant. August 19

Our Idiot Brother

Starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, and Rashida Jones. August 26

The Dramas

The Tree of Life

Tells the story of Jack (Sean Penn), his life growing up in 1950s Midwest and his tumultuous relationship with his father. Directed by the Terrence Malick, IMDB calls this film “a true event” for cinephiles and fans of the reclusive Malick. Also starring Brad Pitt and celebrated Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life could be a good alternative to the standard action and comedy fare. May 27 (limited release)

Beginners

Starring Ewan McGregor, Mélanie Laurent and Christopher Plummer and directed by Mike Mills in his first film since 2005’s Thumbsucker. June 3

The Help

Based on the bestselling novel, stars Emma Stone as an aspiring writer who befriends two African American maids (Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer) in 1960s Mississippi.

The History of Memorial Day: Why we celebrate

May 27, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: History, Memorial Day, Summer

Lakeview Mayfest: Ghost of summerfests to come

May 27, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: Beer, Entertainment, Summer